Courthouse District voters Tuesday fired County Board of Supervisors chairman Casey Clinger and returned former representative Jerry Bishop to the seat he gave up in 2009.
With 100 percent of the votes counted, Boothe collected 51.87 percent (526 votes) to Clingers 47.63 percent (483 votes), the second upset of a seated county chairman in recent years. In 2011, first time candidate Lauren Yoder beat out chairman David Ingram in the GOP caucus for the Locust Grove seat and then turned back a write-in effort n the general election.
Yoder served as vice-chairman of the board for a while but was replaced by Burks Fork Supervisor Joe Turman after a falling out with Clinger.
Boothe, a Democrat turned Republican turned Independent, served on the board as a Democrat until 2009 after he chose to step down but joined the race this year as an independent at the urging of Courthouse District residents who said they were unhappy with Clinger.
The strong-willed Clinger got into public fights with two now former school superintendents over tax and budget issues but ran into trouble over revelations in July 2014 that his Pizza Inn restaurant, which operates just outside the town limits of Floyd, was charging customers the higher sales tax rates for town-based businesses but was submitting the lower tax rate to Virginia.
Clinger blamed the overcharges on improperly programs electronic cash register system that added 10.3 sales tax to restaurant customers while only paying 5.3 percent to the Commonwealth. He paid back the overcharges to the state.
As Supervisor, Clinton won praise for his work on dealing with the problems generated by two previous school superintendent and supported the board’s recent move to concentrate on renewable energy but came under fire for what some felt was a ‘high-handed approach” to other problems.
He also declined an invitation to present his positions on county issues on video, a move that brought some criticism on social media. Boothe agreed to the video.
Ironically, the election that brings an end to Clinger’s time on the board comes with a victory of a county-side referendum that approved giving the supervisors the right to levy the same “meals tax” as the town.
Countywide voters narrowly approved the meals tax issues by a 52.51 percent victory (2,807 votes) while 47.49 percent (2,539) voted “no.”
As usual in statewide races, Floyd County voted for the losers. Republican Ed Gillespie collected 63.16 percent of the county vote to Democrat Ralph S. Northam’s 34.45 percent but Northam easily defeated Gillespie statewide.
Same for Lt. Governor. Republican Jill H. Vogel won 66.51 percent in Floyd County but lost statewide to Democrat Justin E. Fairfax.
In the attorney general’s race, incumbent Mark Herring, a Democrat, garnered only 35.23 percent of the vote in Floyd County but won statewide over Republican John D. Adams.
Floyd County also voted 64.99 percent for GOP incumbent delegate Nick Rush.
In unchallenged races, Indian Valley Republican Justin Coleman took the Supervisor race there, as did incumbent Floyd Mayor Will Griffin to retain his seat.
School board members Pamela Snead and Gene Bishop won their uncontested seats